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A transient large-scale relativistic radio jet from GX 339−4

Authors

  • E. Gallo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Astronomical Institute ‘Anton Pannekoek’ and Center for High Energy Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • S. Corbel,

    1. Université Paris VII and Service d'Astrophysique (Fédération APC), CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
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  • R. P. Fender,

    1. Astronomical Institute ‘Anton Pannekoek’ and Center for High Energy Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • T. J. Maccarone,

    1. Astronomical Institute ‘Anton Pannekoek’ and Center for High Energy Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • A. K. Tzioumis

    1. Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, Post Office Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia
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E-mail: egallo@science.uva.nl

ABSTRACT

We report on the formation and evolution of a large-scale, synchrotron-emitting jet from the black hole candidate and X-ray binary system GX 339−4. In 2002 May, the source moved from a low/hard to a very high X-ray state, contemporaneously exhibiting a very bright optically thin radio flare. Further observations with the Australia Telescope Compact Array have tracked the formation of a collimated structure extending to about 12 arcsec, with apparent velocity greater than 0.9c. The luminosity of the outflow seems to be rapidly decreasing; these observations confirm that transient large-scale jets are likely to be common events triggered by X-ray state transitions in black hole X-ray binaries.

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